TALKERS Magazine’s 2018 Heavy Hundred to Be Published Next Monday. On May 21, TALKERS magazine will post the 2018 edition of “The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” – known informally as the Heavy Hundred. This 24thedition of the Heavy Hundred is from the editors of TALKERS magazine who base their ranking of the hosts on a number of hard and soft factors, including: ratings, revenue, courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, recognition, service, talent, and uniqueness. TALKERS VP and executive editor Kevin Casey says, “As in previous years, talk hosts must be working a regularly scheduled show on at least one terrestrial station or on satellite radio at the time the list is published in order to be considered. Our editorial staff works very hard to consider all of the numerous personalities who qualify, and then whittle it down to just 100… a difficult task. This list is admittedly subjective to one degree or another but we at TALKERS take the task very seriously. We look forward to revealing the 2018 Heavy Hundred next Monday.”
‘Our American Stories’ Joins KABC, Los Angeles Lineup. The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program is being added to the program schedule at Cumulus Media’s KABC, Los Angeles, “Talk Radio 790” in the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot. Program host Lee Habeeb says the program is “a show about the events and people that made America great, and will keep her great.” Topics range from sports to history to art and “stories about the remarkable things Americans do every day to make the country hum.” Habeeb adds, “Every day, all we hear in the media is what’s wrong with America and what divides us. So, we thought it would be a good idea to remind people about what unites us, what makes us all proud to call America home. This is an amazing country and we keep things focused on the positive stories that are all around us.” Program affiliate rep Bryan Dawson adds, “Our affiliates have sung the praises of the show, and the production quality. Once the GMs and PDs hear the quality of the show, it practically sells itself, and we’ve gotten to 120-plus affiliates fast because the listeners have been longing for a show like this, with these kinds of production values and writing – and a show that makes them feel good about the country they live in.”
Michael Coover Appointed Executive Producer for ‘Orange & Blue 760’ in Denver. The Denver Broncos-focused sports talk station KDSP, Denver “Orange & Blue 760” announces that Michael Coover is named executive producer for the station. Coover’s duties include producing multiple dayparts, handling the station’s digital footprint and elevating ‘Orange & Blue 760’ as the station enters its second year. He reports to KDSP and KHOW program director Tim Spence, who comments, “Michael’s knowledge of Denver and its competitive ratings battles, his experience on a national level and his overall relationship with players and coaches makes him an ideal candidate for ‘Orange & Blue 760.’” Coover served FOX Sports Radio for 15 years. He was executive producer at KKFN, Denver and, most recently, was executive talent booker for Envision Networks.
Bishop & Laurinaitis Show Debuts on ‘The Fan’ in Columbus. Sports talk outlet WBNS-FM, Columbus “97.1 The Fan” replaces the Tim Hall and Beanie Wells late morning program with a new show co-hosted by sports talk pro Beau Bishop and former Ohio State and NFL linebacker James Laurinaitis. The RadiOhio-owned station is plugging the duo into the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot, effective today (5/14). Bishop had been serving with Entercom’s Cleveland sports talk outlet WKRK-FM “92.3 The Fan.” Laurinaitis has been working as an analyst on the Big Ten Network.
Salem Radio Star and Media Icon Joe Piscopo to Be Special Luncheon Speaker at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! – The organizers of TALKERS magazine’s 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! – set for Friday, June 8 in New York City – are pleased to announce that WNYM, New York “970 AM The Answer” morning host and longtime media icon Joe Piscopo will be delivering a special luncheon address at the gathering. Piscopo gained national recognition for his comedic work as an early regular on Saturday Night Live, as well as starring in a number of motion pictures during his illustrious career. The lunch, sponsored for the second consecutive year by the Salem Media Group, is just one of a non-stop series of keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, networking socials and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to on-air and online broadcasting professionals that make up the agenda of the sold-out gathering. The power-packed program will feature more than 65 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology, as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. See the list of speakers and up-to-the-minute agenda as well as last-minute sponsorship and hotel information by clicking here. The conference takes place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater in the colorful Chelsea District of Manhattan.
National Radio Hall of Fame Announces 2018 Nominees. Today begins the voting process for the 2018 class of inductees into the National Radio Hall of Fame. The 24 nominations in six categories were determined by the organization’s nominating committee. Four of those categories will be voted on by a voting participant panel comprised of nearly 1,000 industry professionals. The other two categories will be voted on by the public. Public voting commences June 4 for eight nominations for Music Format On-Air Personality and Spoken Word On-Air Personality. This year’s nominees in the publicly voted Spoken Word On-Air Personality category are: Westwood One’s Mark Levin, SiriusXM’s Joe Madison, Premiere Networks’ George Noory, and CBS Sports Radio’s Jim Rome. National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig Kitchin says, “I personally appreciate the challenging task that our Nominating Committee accepts each year to officially nominate talent from an infinite list of deserving individuals. Congratulations to this year’s nominees, an excellent selection of our industry’s finest.” Inductees will be announced June 25. See all the nominees here.
TALKERS News Notes. A Memorial Day weekend radio special that looks at the tumultuous year of 1968 is being offered to Westwood One News affiliate stations. “1968: The Year That Shook America” is hosted by Westwood One News correspondent Michael Toscano. Westwood One says that Toscano takes listeners back the year when “conflict and confusion reigned across America. The Vietnam War raged at full throttle. The assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King and Senator Robert Kennedy stunned the nation. Inner city riots erupted. Young people were making their voices heard in protest on college campuses. New leaders emerged and the culture changed forever.” The program replaces “The Week in Review” during Memorial Day weekend, May 26-27. Pictured here is Toscano (right) interviewing Pat Buchanan (left) about his work on Richard Nixon’s 1968 campaign with the president-elect…..A deal between NPR and Spotify is allowing Spotify users to have access to NPR’s podcast catalogue. Spotify global head of podcast partnerships Dossie McGraw says, “For both Spotify and NPR, joining forces just makes sense and we’re delighted to bring NPR podcasts to Spotify users. Podcasts are gifts you give yourself in moments of the day when you want to catch up on the news or hear thoughtful commentary on issues affecting us all or just have some fun with a game show like ‘Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!’”…..SiriusXM Satellite Radio begins its first-ever free preview to non-subscribers in an effort to promote its newly re-designed app for iOS and Android. Today through May 29, anyone with an inactive satellite radio, or who has an internet connected mobile device and/or web access can sample SiriusXM’s content without any registration requirements. The deal includes access to all music and talk channels, including Howard Stern’s channels.
U.S. Exits Iran Nuclear Deal, Trump’s ZTE Statement, Indonesia Church Bombings, Haspel Nomination, John McCain Health, U.S.’s Israel Embassy Move, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The response to President Trump’s withdrawing the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal; reaction to President Trump’s desire to “save” Chinese tech firm ZTE; the weekend bombings of three Christian churches in Indonesia; the confirmation hearings of CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel; the health status of Senator John McCain and the flap over a reported comment by a Trump staffer that McCain’s opinions don’t matter because “he’ll be dead soon”; the deadly protests over the re-location of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem; Major League Baseball action; and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Last Thursday evening, Charlie Puth (left) took over the stage at the iHeartRadio Theater in New York to perform songs from his new album, Voicenotes, at the iHeartRadio Album Release Party. In addition to Puth performing tunes from his new record, the event included a Q&A with iHeartRadio on-air personality Maxwell (right). (Photo: Rachel Kaplan for iHeartMedia)…..Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WCSX, Detroit, along with the City of Ann Arbor, Michigan and the Ann Arbor School Board, are teaming up to have a street named in honor of Detroit rock legend Bob Seger in front of his Alma Mater in Ann Arbor. WCSX morning personality Jim O’ Brien worked with the City of Ann Arbor and the Ann Arbor School Board to find a stretch of boulevard on the grounds of Pioneer High School (formerly known as Ann Arbor High back then and Seger’s Alma Mater) on the corner of Main Street. Big Jim is quoted saying, “Bob Seger is part of my life. The first song at my wedding reception was ‘Real Love’ by Seger and my favorite road trip song ever is ‘Roll Me Away.’ Bob Seger is everything good about Detroit… hard working, passionate and genuine. When we found this stretch of road in Ann Arbor at his high school, it just made sense to make Bob Seger Boulevard a reality. And it’s connected to Main Street!”